Orgeat and Grenadine from Almèns syrups

almens-syrups

Hailing from Sweden, the syrups by Gustav Almèn have now seen the light! the first two out is a orgeat and a grenadine and I can assure you these are very tasty and well made with all natural ingredients and no artifical things added.

Gustav started to make homemade syrups for drinks that they served in the bar that he worked it at the time, Papa Gede`s in Sydney. A bar which on their website says – Papa Gede’s bar is infused with the spirit of witch-doctor apothecary, home-made herbal elixirs, plenty of classic & tiki cocktails, a smorgasbord of absinthes traditionally served, great wine, funk, soul, reggae & rituals of relaxation.

Sounds like a quite ecclectic and creative environment to work at! And while working there Gustav made many different flavors like orgeat, grenadine, ginger & sugarcane, falernum…

One day a friend said to him that he should start selling syrups and the more he thought about it the more he realized that there were no companies in Sweden selling cocktail syrups. So during the last 6 months in Australia he started to experiment even more with different flavors and studied different kinds of sugar syrups.

Just in time when he was back in Sweden he felt that his syrups finally were as good as he wanted them to be and so it was then he decided to start his company – Alméns Syrups. His goal is to sell cocktail syrups to bars in Stockholm.

I have tried the homemade orgeat (which is made with real almonds) and grenadine and they are both very tasty! the only thing I could think of that would benefit by a change is the bottle desgn, it`s beautiful bottles, tall and elegant but not very practical in a bar 🙂

But the syrups are not yet out for sale so a few changes will most likely be made before the final product is out on the market.

Here are two drinks I have made, one with the orgeat infused with Kombu seaweed and one with grenadine.

Fire and Brimstone!

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1 oz/30 ml  aged Cuban style rum ( I used Rational Spirits 141 Cuban rum)
1 oz/30 ml Mezcal (I used Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal)
2 oz/60 ml fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml Almèns grenadine
0.75 oz/22.5 ml fresh lime juice
Hibiscus powder to rim the glass and top the ice
Crushed ice

Rim half a snifter with hibiscus powder and half fill with crushed ice. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into the snifter, add more crushed ice to fill and dust some hibiscus powder on top, garnish with a lime wedge.

Kombu Sour

kombu-sour-for-blog

0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz kombu seaweed infused Almèns orgeat
1 oz aged Cuban style rum ( I used Rational Spirits 141 Cuban rum)
1 oz Mezcal ( I used Del Magey Vida)
1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice (yellow)
1 small piece of kombu, lime wheel for garnish
Small pinch hibiscus powder

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe with a cracked ice chunk.Garnish with kombu, limewheel and a pinch of hibiscus powder on top.

Infusing the orgeat – Add orgeat to a small pan ( I added a half cup, about 1.25 dl) or pot and add a piece of kombu seaweed (about 2 inches, 5cm long) you can brake it in two if you want and slightly heat up the mix, Then take off heat and leave to sit for a couple hours or overnight, taste to see until you find the flavor nice. It should add a bit of a sea-salty flavor to the orgeat.

I really like these syrups and have nothing more to say than I think it would be better with smaller more practical bottles 🙂 apart from that the syrups are very good, tastes wonderful!

When they are out for purchase I know I`ll buy them!

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt 6 – Place d`Armes Cocktail

place-darmes-ccocktail-2

Made in honor of Jackson Square, this cocktail with whiskey and fruit juices is a tasty libation indeed.  It can be found in the book “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix `em” by Stanley Clisby Arthur.

I can´t find any info on what year this cocktail was made and by whom and any history about how it got its name etc but the book was written in 1937. So there isn´t much to write about this cocktail here, rather get going and mix it up – but in any case, the cocktail is nice and i like Jackson square, one of the many interesting historic places in New Orleans.

Jackson square was originally called Place d´Armes (Spanish: Plaza de Armas) in the 18th century but was re-named to Jackson Square in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero, Andrew Jackson who now since 1856 stands In the center of the parkas an equestrian statue – or a statue of a rider mounted on a horse.

The design of Jackson Square was modeled on the famous Place des Vosges in Paris, France and did originally overlook the Mississippi River across Decatur Street.

Jackson square is surrounded by some very famous old buildings like St Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere  and Cabildo (Louisiana State Museums – where you can see some amazing things like the Mardi Gras Exhibit (Presbytere, 2nd floor) – and also where there has been held some lavish parties during the Tales of the Cocktail…and then we have the grand Lower and Upper Pontalba Apartments (the oldest apartment buildings in the U.S.)

And here is where one of my favorite restaurants is – Muriel`s with its mystic 2nd floor rooms that are just amazing. Also here is where for well over a half century now there`s artists painting and displaying their work on the outside of the iron fence.

So that was a little about Jackson Square after which this cocktail is named. Here´s the recipe:

PLACE D´ARMES COCKTAIL

place-darmes-ccocktail

½ orange—juice only

½ lemon—juice only

½ lime—juice only

1.5 oz whiskey

1 oz grenadine sirup ( i would use 0.5 oz if using a commercial grenadine unless its Trader Tiki´s hibiscus grenadine and btw hibiscus grenadine is nicer than just grenadine..)

Squeeze the fruit juices in a mixing glass. Add the sirup; be careful not to make it too sweet if you like a dry drink . . . Otherwise use a little sugar. Then add the whiskey—some prefer Bourbon, others rye. Strain into a tall glass half-filled with crushed ice. Decorate with a sprig of mint, after frappeing well with a spoon.

This cocktails is very tasty and fresh! i was wondering if 1 oz of grenadine would be too much but it isn´t – but its importsant to use a good quality grenadine. I strongly recommend homemade hibiscus grenadine – or Trader Tiki´s. Also use a good quality rye or bourbon in this.

jackson-square

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt2 – The Hurricane Cocktail

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Famous like few others – the Hurricane cocktail is said to have been invented in the 1940`s at Pat O`Brien`s bar who simply needed a new cocktail to get rid of surplus rums when whiskey was scarce during and after World War II, but was originally very different from what they serve now — it was rum (half light, half dark), passion fruit juice and lime (2:1:1) They served it in a glass that was shaped like a hurricane lamp and so the drink got its name.

During the prohibition of the 1930s the bar was known as “Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary” and a password was required to get inside of the establishment. Its since then one of the most popular drinks in the french quarter, especially among the tourists.

The extremely sweet and red Hurricane you get at Pat O`Brien`s today is not what once was served and what you get when mixing it up with all natural ingredients and it uses the powder-mix containing chemicals and artificial color.

Still i think its something you should try when in New Orleans – it´s one of those things you just have to do bec if you don`t you simply have n´t been to New Orleans….and it actually does have a charm of it´s own.

Also Pat `O Briens is a fun place to go to with it`s beautiful fire fountain in the courtyard – and don`t forget the piano bar with their legendary copper pianos and lively dueling piano players singing with the people through the night with that joyous New Orleans spirit floating through the air – it´s great fun!

That Hurricane you get at Pat O`Brien`s will also creep up on you and get you pretty drunk if you drink too many too fast as it contains plenty of rum so be careful.

As for the Hurricane-mix…the Hurricanes made with it is one kind but it´s not the original kind and many are they who believe this powder-mixed drink ís what makes a real Hurricane. Chuck over at Gumbopages also wrote about this in an excellent post.

hurricane-mix

Made with natural ingredients and homemade grenadine you get a very different and much nicer cocktail and if you play with the rums you can have some fun. I use a passionfruit juice and some passionfruit syrup as well. This drink with rum, lime, sugar, passionfruit juice and grenadine is actually close to the Daiquiri.

To this nothing but homemade grenadine will do for me – and as its so easy to make that i always have it. I often add a handful of dried hibiscus flowers to it as well – it gives a very tasty and fresh tropical tang. So equal parts water and sugar plus the seeds of two pomegranates (or have èm juiced) and if you will – a handful of hibiscus – bring to a boil and then take off the heat – add the fresh seeds of one half of the two pomegranates, mash it up a bit and leave to cool. But if you want to be really authentic – leave out the hibiscus flowers;-)

I made a batch today as i was out of grenadine and the pomegranates are in season now so there`s plenty of large ripe red pomegranates from Morocco out there and they taste so fresh! I need to buy 3 when i`m gonna use 2 because i eat up too many of those ruby-red sparkling seeds that not much would be left for my grenadine.

Let stand for a few hours so the flavor settles, then strain and bottle. Keep in the fridge, it lasts about a month or more. There`s no reason to buy commercial grenadine unless you can`t find fresh pomegranates. But as a basic rule with both drink-mixing and cooking, always use the best and freshest ingredients possible.

hurricanes

Here´s two recipes of the Hurricane, one is the basic one and the other the common recipe today.The Hurricane on the pictures is made with the common recipe.

Basic recipe:

1.5 oz light rum
1.5 oz dark rum
1 oz passionfruit juice or syrup
¾ oz lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice.

Common recipe:

1.5 oz light rum
1.5 oz dark rum
1 oz orange juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 cup passion fruit juice, or 1 tablespoon passion fruit syrup
1 oz simple syrup
1 teaspoon grenadine
Stemmed cherries, and orange slice to garnish
Ice cubes – i prefer cracked or crushed ice here.

Half fill a Hurricane glass with crushed or cracked ice (or ice cubes) Shake all ingredients and strain into the glass. Fill up with more ice if needed and garnish with an orange slice and stemmed cherry.

Now i didn`t have any cherry today or an orange slice  so i used what was left of the pressed orange and a lime wedge instead.

On the famous pics of the cocktail blogging crew (well part of it) below from Tales -08 and-09 (sorry guys but these pics are awesome…) you can see the Hurricane cocktail as being served at Pat O`Briens and how deeply red the color is.

the-hurricane-gang

 

The fountain at Pat O`Brien`s.

Hibiscus Grenadine

What happens if you throw in a handful of dried hibiscus flowers into homemade bright grenadine? – it turns to teh awesome….

When you make homemade grenadine it usually gets paler in color than the commercial variants, but with the dried hibiscus flowers added this isn`t the case anymore, the hibiscus flowers inparts a blood red color. And on top of that they also add a very fresh crisp and floral tropical flavor.

It was my friend Chris Stanley from Rookie libations who first told me about adding dried hibiscus flowers to the grenadine, and i will be forever grateful.

Commercial grenadine cannot compare to homemade and its worth the little effort to make it yourself, it doesn`t take long time either. But you need to have fresh pomegranates and these are fairly expensive, but for home use 1 large pomegranate makes about 1L grenadine.

But the measures are a bit approximate but this is a forgiving recipe, it´s not like baking where everything has to be exact, sometimes i use one large pomegranate (if it´s huge) and sometimes i use two if they are a bit smaller.

Same thing with the flowers, i throw in “a handful” and it always works like a charm..

 

So here is how to make it:

Get 1-2 large pomegranates, check that they are of good quality. To easiest separate the seeds from the bitter membrane, just cut the pomegranate in quarters and brake loose the seeds under water in a bowl.

The seeds will sink and the membrane float.

In a pot make a simple syrup by adding 1:1 sugar and water, and add the pomegranate seeds and a good handful of dried hibiscus flowers. I find my hibiscus flowers in a health shop. Then lightly boil this for about 5 min, then simmer for another 10 min before taking off the heat and set aside to cool.

Leave to cool and set for 1-2 hrs to really get the flavors out.

Then strain and bottle in a clean bottle and keep the grenadine in the fridge. I dont know how long it lasts before it go bad as I always use it up fairly quick, but I would guess 1-2 months. To get a really bright red color its best to use white or light colored sugar.

See what a bright red color you get because you combine both pomegranate seeds and hibiscus flowers…and it´s all natural.

As I`m very fond of raw sugars and not so much like the refined white sugar I use a raw cane sugar that is called oxfam and it has a very lightly tinted white/goldish color which doesnt darken the final grenadine color.

Here is one of my favorite drinks containing grenadine and which becomes even tastier with hibiscus grenadine.

PORT LIGHT By trader Vic – page 66 in Grog Log

1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
3 tsp grenadine
1 oz Bourbon

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 sek and pour into collins glass or nautical tumbler.Add more crushed ice to fill.

Here is Trader Vic`s Port Light from Trader Vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook

In a blender with 1 scoop shave ice:
2 tsp honey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Mynor’s Passion Fruit Nectar
1 egg white
2oz Bourbon

Blend and pour into Port Light glass, or a red tumbler with cracked ice. Decorate with fresh mint. The same drink using scotch instead of bourbon is called Starboard Light.

The Port Light and Starboard Light cocktails were originally served in special glass “Marine Tumblers” – the red glass for the Port and the green glass for the Starboard.